Seattle’s Headwaves Releases Its Debut Album

23 Feb

Seattle has long been a hotbed for indie music. One of the latest Seattle-area bands to release its debut album is Headwaves.

Headwaves is a quartet led by singer-songwriter, Ryan Barber, and guitarist, Larson Haakenstad. Their debut album, which has largely flown under the radar since its release in the fall, mixes bright synths with Haakenstad’s accomplished guitar work to deliver a set of seven accessible pop-rock tunes. All of the songs are built on strong rhythm tracks, giving the melodies structure and substance. Headwaves isn’t an easy band to categorize, but you’ll probably enjoy their music if you like MGMT, Broken Bells, or Portugal. The Man.

Track highlights: The self-titled Headwaves album opens with a very strong 80s anthem called “Mama.” The song features swirling, glittery synths set over pounding drums.

My second favorite song on the album demonstrates the incredible range the band has. “Western Life” is set to a stately, march-like rhythm with a pulsing synth bass, fuzz guitars and hazy keys blended together in this anthem to endless youth.

“Left Right” shows off some fancy steppin’ within a synth-rock landscape. One final standout to note is “Working Overtime.” With its laid-back groove and conversational vocals, this track really reminds me of Broken Bells.

Overall, Headwaves is a very strong first effort by a band with a lot of potential.



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